2 Kings Chapter 17  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: 2 Kings 17
2Ki 17:1(top)
2Ki 17:2(top)
2Ki 17:3

“Shalmaneser king of Assyria.” King Hoshea of Israel had become a vassal to Assyria when Tiglath-Pileser (Tiglath-Pileser III) ruled Assyria (see commentary on 2 Kings 15:30).

2Ki 17:4

“So king of Egypt.” The identity of the pharaoh referred to as “So” is debated by scholars.

2Ki 17:5(top)
2Ki 17:6(top)
2Ki 17:7(top)
2Ki 17:8(top)
2Ki 17:9

“from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city.” The meaning of this phrase is disputed. Some scholars believe it is a way of describing the whole city, from the watchtower on the edge of the city to the most fortified part of the city. However, it is more likely somewhat hyperbolic, describing the huge number of places of pagan worship. They were “in all their cities,” from any place that had a watchtower to the fortified cities in the land. This interpretation seems to be supported by the next verse, that there were also places of worship on every high hill and under every green tree. Israel was wholly given over to pagan worship.

2Ki 17:10

“standing stones.” Most standing-stones were set up as part of the worship of pagan gods, and that is the context here. God has no tolerance for idols. They are harmful in many different ways, and God commanded that they be destroyed. [For more on standing-stones, see commentary on Gen. 28:18. For more on idols being harmful, see commentary on Deuteronomy 7:5].

2Ki 17:11(top)
2Ki 17:12(top)
2Ki 17:13(top)
2Ki 17:14

“stiffened their neck.” An idiom for being stubborn and obstinate. The idea is that a person is going in a certain direction and when called to change, they stiffen their neck and refuse to look or move in a different direction. Animals on a leash often stiffen their neck when they don’t want to be led in a direction different than the one they want to go.

2Ki 17:15

“worthless idols.” The Hebrew is just the singular noun “empty” (or “worthless,” related to a breath or vapor), and perhaps could more literally be translated “worthlessnesses.” A number of English versions use “vain,” and although “vain” can mean useless or worthless, its more common meaning, “to have an excessively high opinion of one's appearance, abilities, or worth,” seems to make it a poor choice, because that is not what is being said in the verse. In this context it refers to idols, which from God’s perspective are indeed worthless. They certainly cannot keep a person from everlasting death. In that sense, the person who follows worthless idols becomes worthless themselves.

2Ki 17:16

“and made cast metal images for themselves, even two calves.” These calves were made by Jeroboam I, the very first king of the northern kingdom of Israel, and he set one up in Bethel and the other up in Dan (1 Kings 12:28-30).

2Ki 17:17(top)
2Ki 17:18(top)
2Ki 17:19(top)
2Ki 17:20(top)
2Ki 17:21

“For he had torn Israel from the house of David.” This happened soon after the death of Solomon (cp. 1 Kings 11:11-13; 31).

2Ki 17:22(top)
2Ki 17:23(top)
2Ki 17:24(top)
2Ki 17:25(top)
2Ki 17:26

“do not know the law of the god of the land.” It was commonly believed that different gods lived in different places, so if a person when to a different area they would have to learn how to please the god in that area. [For more on people believing that different gods lived in different places on earth, see commentary on 1 Kings 20:23].

2Ki 17:27(top)
2Ki 17:28(top)
2Ki 17:29

“houses of the high places.” The shrines and temples that had been set up in Israel.

2Ki 17:30(top)
2Ki 17:31(top)
2Ki 17:32(top)
2Ki 17:33(top)
2Ki 17:34(top)
2Ki 17:35

“with whom Yahweh had cut a covenant.” This is the covenant that Yahweh made with Israel at Mount Sinai, commonly known as “the Old Covenant.”

2Ki 17:36(top)
2Ki 17:37(top)
2Ki 17:38(top)
2Ki 17:39(top)
2Ki 17:40(top)
2Ki 17:41(top)

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